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Neurology. 2006 Nov 14;67(9):1600-4.

Initial CSF total tau correlates with 1-year outcome in patients with traumatic brain injury.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. martin.ost@vgregion.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated if tau, microtubular binding protein, in serum and ventricular CSF (vCSF) in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) during the initial posttraumatic days correlated to 1-year outcome.

METHODS:

Patients with severe TBI (n = 39, Glasgow Coma Scale score <or=8) were included. We measured serum and vCSF total tau on days 0 to 14, using ELISA. vCSF total tau correlated to 1-year Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE), the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) neurologic status, and the Bartel Daily Living Index. Patients (n = 20) with normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) served as reference.

RESULTS:

Higher levels of tau were found in TBI patients vs patients with NPH. A correlation was found between initial vCSF total tau and GOSE levels (R = 0.42, p < 0.001) but not between vCSF total tau and NIHSS or Bartel scores at 1 year. A vCSF total tau level of >2,126 pg/mL on days 2 to 3 discriminated between dead and alive (sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 81%). A vCSF total tau level of >702 pg/mL on days 2 to 3 discriminated between bad (GOSE 1 to 4) and good (GOSE 5 to 8) outcome (sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 69%). Patients with GOSE 1 (dead) had higher vCSF total tau levels on days 2 to 3 (p < 0.001) vs both surviving patients (GOSE 2 to 8) and those with NPH. Total tau was not detected in serum throughout the study.

CONCLUSION:

The increase in ventricular CSF (vCSF) total tau probably reflects axonal damage, known to be a central pathologic mechanism in traumatic brain injury (TBI). These results suggest that vCSF total tau may be an important early biochemical neuromarker for predicting long-term outcome in patients with a severe TBI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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